There needs to be at least one day of the week where I have fun I’ve decided. My morning is Friday. I do whatever I want, when I want. Okay after the morning lift scheme and speech therapy and until I pick up my Princes unless it’s lift scheme Friday and then I have extra time until Prince no. 1 pickup. (Tip – DO lift schemes – I learnt a bit late but better late than never!)

In the past I didn’t see myself time as ‘allowed’. I was meant to take care of my babies and if I didn’t then I was guilty of not being with them, leaving them at home. All this year when my youngest finally went to play school and I had my mornings I spent a lot of time in the ‘should do’ room – ‘I should be writing, I should be achieving.’ It doesn’t help to be in the must, have to, should do mind frame. Even if I did work and write it wasn’t enough because more often than not I was burnt out. So now I’ve decided to work five days of the week (including Sunday) and have a fun morning off to myself.

Maybe some of you are thinking, ‘Geez that’s decadent!’ My critical voice is certainly thinking that. But if I let my nurturing parent voice kick in, well why not? What’s wrong with taking a morning off from the 24 hour job of being a mum, and if you work part or full-time how much more so do you need to feed your own inner child and have a bit of a fling in the direction of fun.

To begin with sometimes we forget what fun is. I used to think, ‘Fun? What’s that?’ So I wrote a ‘Happy List’. Things that make me feel alive and happy, small things like having coffee out (someone serving me for once), putting on a new lipstick or reading a new book to the big dreams like travelling to far-flung places like India. Then I began going out and doing them. So I go for lots of peace and quiet coffees even if they’re for 10 minutes. I even did a biggie and went to San Francisco with my dearest, darling, older sister, cousin. (That’s the advantage of being an immigrant – I have to go overseas to see my family – I consider it part of my prenuptial agreement.) And yes I browse book stores, insist on weekly date nights with my hubbies, started to see movies again, and take my Friday mornings OFF.

Ahhh Friday mornings – this is such a new thing for me which I’m still exploring. At the moment it’s where I meet friends for coffee in lovely places like Greenside and Parkhurst. One of my favourite spots that my dear, savvy, sister-in-law introduced me to and I can’t recall the name…. will get back to you on that one because it’s worth going. Its gourmet cappuccino is at reasonable prices and get this they serve complementary Bakers biscuits and if you so desire you can bring your own eats. On my Happy List I have visiting art galleries, roaming Melville, hanging out at Arts on Main and I hope to add many more new places to visit and go. If I were to think aloud I’d also like to explore different things to make like mosaic, pottery, beading… the list isn’t endless and if anyone has more ideas….

Those of you who are shaking their heads and thinking – this girl is on a high! When can I @#*”? go and have time off. She’s just got time which I don’t. This actually may be true. But the reality is that even if it’s an hour off a week and even if you have to book a babysitter it’s important, worth it and I would even argue essential. Especially if you have littlies and you’ve kinda put your life on hold until things settle down into some sort of kiddie normalcy (ie. When they’re all at school – preferably finishing at 330pm). Why wait to have time and be happy when your finally are middle-aged and your kids are out of the house?

My happy list definitely makes me a better mum. We all have different needs and maybe the point of this blog is for all of us to pinpoint honestly what our needs are. Because sometimes we forget that we have needs to beyond preparing healthy dinners (those of us who manage that) and taxiing our angels around. As the famous sage Hillel says, ‘If I’m not for myself, who am I? And if I’m only for myself, what am I? And if not now when?’

So write your happy list – NOW!

NB: I wrote this blog earlier when I was calm and as happy as a mum happily having a quiet coffee – now at 8 pm at night my nerves are raw and frazzled. After a night of negotiating (which I know I shouldn’t do and desperately try not to do) turning off the TV (which is so readily available at my in laws) on Prince No 1 sending him into a hysterical crouping fit (I kid you not) I feel like I’m developing an ulcer  and all I want to do is cry myself to sleep because David is MBAing away in San Francisco (yes his turn and yes I feel very sorry for single mums) – just another argument why it’s important to take time out. Because otherwise I’d be seriously out of my mind crazy! And no I’m not going to cry myself to sleep I’ll breathe in and out and know that whilst tomorrow morning may not be better thanks to mad school morning rush at least I have a coffee scheduled. I can almost smell it…